Psychopharmacons act in the central nervous system. They can be applied effectively in different mental disorders. They can hardly be missed in the treatment of some illnesses like schizophrenia, delusional disorder, bipolar disorder, severe depression, dementia. There are many false beliefs about medication used in psychiatry. They don’t change personality, don’t manipulate patients, and in outpatient settings we always avoid to cause sedation. The majority of my clients are active persons, students, have a job, drive a car, raise children. My goals are to help them keep or improve these functions. We use pharmacotherapy in case of some mental disorders (mood problems, anxiety, psychosis, organic illnesses).
What kind of medicines do we use in psychiatric practice?
- Antidepressants: drugs that improve mood, a group of them also has significant anxiolytic or sleep improving effect. Antidepressive treatment is effective, if the medication is administered for a longer period (minimum 6-9 months).
- Anxiolytics: they have a fast effect, often act in 30-60 minutes after taking them. We try to use them only in a short period or occasionally, because of their side effects and addictive risk.
- Sleeping pills: we use them transiently in primary insomnia, if sleeping hygenie is good.
- Antipsychotic drugs: In case of psychotic states, schizophrenia, delusive disorder, organic psychoses these drugs can improve the positive (hallucinations, delusions, agitated, confused behaviour) and negative (social withdrawal, inactive behaviour, blunted emotions, cognitive deficits) symptoms of these illnesses. They are also able to act as mood stabilisers in bipolar disorder.
- Other mood stabilizers: drugs used in different phases of bipolar disorder, most of them are also applied in antiepileptic treatment.
- Rarely we use other medications in treating some illnesses like dementia or attention deficit disorder.
Psychotherapy, psychotherapy methods
Psychotherapy is a helping intervention using communication and social interaction. Many therapeutical schools, trends are known. Therapist and patient agree about the goals, method, time frame, parties responsibilities and tasks during the therapy after exploring the problems. Psychotherapy can be efficient in case of different mental disorders (like depression, anxiety problems), difficulties and stuckings in life, conflicts.
Short therapies usually have time frame, they last for several months, their goal is to change the symptoms or thinking, teaching stress management skills. Long therapies may last for years, their goal is personality development, self recognition, reprocessing traumatic memories.
What kind of psychotherapeutical methods do I use?
Autogenic training: relaxation technique, harmonising left and right hemisphere of the brain, and leading to deep relaxation. It is able to loose spasms both in concrete and abstract ways. It may help in case of anxiety, panic disorder, psychosomatic problems, sleep disorders. Autogenic training is a learnable process, in case of regular practice it can become automatic. It treats the symptoms on the level where they developed.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): This is the most widely used psychotherapeutical method. It has a wide research background, its efficacy was proven in numerous studies. Cognitive therapy focuses on the recognision and change of cognitive dystorsions. Behavioral therapy focuses on teaching adaptive, more efficient behaviors. It is effective in the treatment of different anxiety disorders, depression, addictions, eating disorders, OCD, and with some modifications in the treatment of psychotic disorders.
Schema therapy: A new, effective method developed from CBT. It focuses on learning and changing early maladaptive schemas and schema modes, reprocessing traumatic memories, leading to more adaptive behavior. Schema therapy is ideal for the treatment of chronic problems, like chronic depression, personality disorders (borderline, narcissistic, avoidant etc).
EMDR-therapy: EMDR is an efficient treatment method in trauma reprocessing. Specific method of stimulation helps in reliefing and reintegrating traumatic experiences. When we are under the effect of a traumatic event, our neuronal networks function in a different way than usually, leading to difficulty in integrating these memories. During EMDR therapy we follow a protocol, that enables normal processing. This therapeutical method is able to treat posttraumatic stress disorder, OCD, phobias. The method includes teaching stabilising skills.
Couple therapy: In case of relationship problems, crisis, communication difficulties we deal with the couple together, and try to explore the relationship dynamics, their attachment styles, activated schemas, and schema modes. We use interactions focusing on a healthier balance. I use mainly the method of Schema Couple Therapy.